Today something traumatic happened. I told Hugo about it and then swore never to speak of it again, but I have decided to write it down for posterity. It still gives me the heeby jeebies to think about it, even after a bath and several brisk hand-washings. I was playing with Sofia on the bed and her pacifier fell off the bed onto the floor. I got up and went into the bathroom to rinse it off in the tub, but had to move my bathing suit, which was hanging over the faucet, where I had placed it to dry when I came in yesterday from the pool. When I say, the pool, so airily, I do not mean to imply that I have a pool. I would like to have a pool. It would be really cool to have one, since we live in Florida and everything. Alas, it was a community pool located in the subdivision of a “postpartum friend” who invited the mommies and babies over to a little pool party at her place. Sofia and I had a winning afternoon and came home barely in time for dinner. But, I digress. That was the day before. That was when life was grand and pool parties were the height of afternoon enjoyment. I fear I shall never be able to enjoy another afternoon at a pool again.
Why, you ask? Well, as I was transferring my suit to the closet, I felt a strange sensation on my shoulder, just out of eye-sight. I brushed it away with my hand, assuming that it was a stray hair. I have been shedding like crazy the past few weeks; they say it is common after pregnancy to shed all that extra hair you grew along with the fetus. So imagine my horror when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a cockroach go fluttering to the floor and begin to skitter around the way cockroaches do. Just now, when I typed the word skitter, I felt exactly the same sensation on my shoulder that I felt when it happened. Ughhhhhhhhh!!!!!! Without even stopping to think or care about the fact that I was barefoot, I immediately squashed the bug with my foot. I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t stand the idea of that thing surviving to tell all his cockroach buddies about the incident. It, in the way peculiar to cockroaches the world over, refused to simply die but instead flopped over on his back and began waving his tentacles in a grisly death dance. I, meanwhile, was making awful noises and wringing my hands in anguish. How could this happen to me? I was certain I would never feel the touch of a cockroach on my skin. I mean, this is Florida and we euphemistically call them palmetto bugs in order to pretend that we don’t have cockroaches in our houses, but anything that looks like a cockroach, is a cockroach as far as I’m concerned. And those things look like cockroaches on steroids.
We get the poison at Lowe’s and we spray it around the outside of the house to keep them at bay. The problem is, even though the poison works, the cockroaches refuse to slink away into their dark crevice to die with a little dignity. It is a peculiar trait of these nasty bugs; they hate humans almost as much as we hate them, but they have to die in front of us. During their lifespan, they attempt to live in as close proximity of us (and our food) as possible, while having as little contact as possible. Yet, when they are terminally afflicted with the poison we leave to kill them, they flop over on their backs in the middle of the floor and take about 6 hours to finally die for good. During that time, they occasionally wave a tentacle pathetically, as though in an attempt to make us feel guilty. However, the cockroach who had the misfortune to come in physical contact with me did not have that luxury (if dying a slow and public death could be considered a luxury). He spent his final moments in the recesses of the sewer system after being flushed emphatically down the toilet.
Now, I am dealing with the inevitable trauma of overcoming my fear of repeating this experience. Because, like I said earlier, my hair is shedding in great quantities, so I constantly have that creepy feeling that there’s a bug on me. Only now, I know that it could actually be a bug. So I don’t just brush the hair off me. Now, I jump up and jiggle my whole body in a very grotesque fashion while waving the afflicted limb as far away from my body as possible to make the imaginary bug fall off of me without coming in contact with any of my other body parts. It’s really attractive. I’m thinking about naming it the cucaracha dance. Fitting, don’t you think?